New Year, New Habits
By Antonietta Marinelli | Jan 08, 2021
The reset button has been pressed and we are kick-starting 2021! A new year means new lessons, opportunities, adventures, challenges and goals...for some of us anyway.
A new year is like a blank canvas. It is a fresh start waiting to be covered with different colours or images. A metaphor at best; a blank canvas is the start of your year. What are you going to create?
We are all familiar with the saying, ‘New Year, New Me!’, we are probably all guilty of saying it too. However, we are forever changing and improving as individuals. It’s a new day, which means a new you, right? Usually the new year resolution goals we set for ourselves revolve around us trying to change our lives by doing something completely left-field in comparison to what we usually do, it’s kind of like we set ourselves up for failure when we do not stick to these goals or follow through. We base our goals around weight loss, or saving money or trying to be more organised. Goal-setting whether it be big or small, in psychology, is an essential tool for self-motivation and self-drivenness - both at personal and professional levels. It gives meaning to our actions and the purpose of achieving something higher. (Positive Psychology, 2020). Maybe instead of creating these unrealistic expectations for ourselves, we should modify what hasn’t worked for us in previous years and allow our lives to become better on their own and find new routines or habits which may be better inclined to our everyday lives.
So, what are some good habits to fall into for 2021? Each individual will hold different ones of course, but what is a positive way to kick-start the new year? There are personal habits in which we all can improve easily, with no financial strains on your bank account. This could involve something as simple as reading more, learning a new skill or even going for a 10-minute walk to get some fresh air. All in all, they are all stepping stones towards forming a new habit.
Writing things down
People make jokes about writing out lists for everything, but the funny thing is this allows us to visually see and keep track with what we want to do, or need to do. A Harvard Business study revealed that 3% of those who write down their goals are 3 times more successful than the 14% with unwritten ones. (Retail Ritish, 2020). This could include writing down your errands, goals, shopping or even things you wish to achieve throughout your day.
Reading stimulates the mind, and is a form of exercise (without even moving!) You may hold a list of books you wish to read, or even wish to expand your range of reading. Take even 10 minutes out of your day to read some material which may be of interest to you.
We all have bad days, they are inevitable. We do not control our external surroundings, however we can control how kind we are, and remember, being kind does not cost a thing.
Positivity and Optimistic thinking
2020 placed a lot of our mindsets into overdrive, with positivity and optimism becoming overshadowed by disappointment and doubt. However, it is a new year which means new opportunities and experiences. We can all be our own worst enemy. If you make a mistake, think about what you could’ve done differently and move forward. It is, of course, easier said than done but with a bit more of an optimistic look on things, our days may end up better than expected.
Do you want to go buy that book? Go buy it. Do you want to eat that cake in the window? Do it. If these simple pleasures make YOU feel good, do it. We should treat ourselves every now and then, because it allows us to feel good.
If 2020 taught us anything it was to take things slow and to slow down. We sometimes get so caught up in work, and errands that we lose track of what is in front of us. It is ok to take a break, sit down and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and recharge.
● Chowdhur R.M. (2020) The Science and Psychology of Goal-Setting 101. The Science of Psychology [Accessed January 6, 2021]. (https://retailritesh.com/2020/01/02/5-steps-for-goal-settings/)
● Mohan, R. (2020) Want to make 2020 the most remarkable year of your life? 5 steps for goal setting. Retail Ritish [Accessed January 6, 2021]. (https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/)